Pak vs NZ: New Zealand slips to 69-3 in 1st test
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Legspinner Yasir Shah pushed Pakistan toward a big victory in the first test as New Zealand stuttered to 69-3 at tea on the fourth day Wednesday.
Shah trapped captain Brendon McCullum (39) and Ross Taylor (8), and made a brilliant catch of first-innings century-maker Tom Latham's (20) top-edged sweep to hurry the collapse.
Pakistan declared its second innings at 175-2 and set a near-impossible, 480-run winning target for New Zealand soon after Mohammad Hafeez completed his first test century in two years with an unbeaten 101.
Resuming from 15-0 overnight, Hafeez showed urgency for quick runs by hitting a dozen boundaries and two sixes in his three-hour, 130-ball knock.
Legspinner Ish Sodhi took both wickets when he had Younis Khan (28) and Azhar Ali (23) leg before wicket to finish with 2-66.
Hafeez, who made 96 in Pakistan's first innings of 566-3 declared, welcomed Sodhi with successive boundaries through the covers. He raised his half century off 89 balls by pulling the legspinner to midwicket for his eighth four.
Hafeez required only 41 more deliveries to complete his first hundred since scoring a century against Sri Lanka in 2012. He drove McCullum through the covers and ran for two before captain Misbah-ul-Haq declared.
Hafeez seemed to be troubled by cramps soon after completing his half century, and received on-field treatment from the team physiotherapist.
He recovered to hoist fast bowler Tim Southee over long-on for a six, and Sodhi was also lofted over the mid-on fence soon after the lunch break to reach 97.
McCullum and Latham started aggressively against fast bowler Rahat Ali and the New Zealand captain successfully overturned the on-field umpire's lbw decision off fast bowler Imran Khan when he reached 17.
But the introduction of Babar and Shah again exposed New Zealand's vulnerability against spinners on slow pitches.
Latham, who scored a maiden test century before New Zealand was bowled out for 262 in the first innings, was out for 20 as he couldn't control a sweep of Babar, and Shah dived forward at backward short leg to pluck a brilliant catch.
McCullum didn't wait for the umpire to raise his finger as he misread Shah's googly and was hit low on the front pad.
Taylor, who was out for duck in the first innings, played half forward to Shah and was also struck on the front pad in the last over before tea as New Zealand lost three wickets in the space of 12 runs.